The Small Things

The other day, I was reminded of how important it is to celebrate and recognize the small gains we make and not disregard them as insignificant in the big picture of striving to improve.

It’s so easy to wait to celebrate until we get a huge gain, but whether it’s with our horses or with ourselves, seeing the tiny steps is a big secret of positivity and clarity about what’s important to focus on next.

I took a ride on Nic on a gorgeous Texas winter day. (-:


It’s Barb, and this is our big, beautiful mushroom tree.

It’s one of my favorite places on the planet to be near. It’s about 70 degrees today, and this week has been gorgeous after a week of rain that we needed. So, I decided to go on a little ride with you and share a thought.

So often, we don’t recognize the small wins in our lives. An example of a small win that might go unnoticed would be a tiny thing a horse does that’s on the mark (like a flex at the poll) or a little something we accomplish but don’t notice or acknowledge, like sitting and lowering our heart rate after we stop.

It’s much easier to think of things in huge sweeping motions about the outcome, as in all or nothing. This is especially true when situations are challenging, and we’d rather wiggle out of them anyway! LOL.

There have been some difficult times for me recently, for sure. But my challenges made me look at them in the eye and think to buck up!

And then I heard someone mention the importance of celebrating small wins. And I thought, “Barbra Schulte, I don’t think you’re celebrating the small wins. You’re looking too much at the big picture and focusing only on whatever it is to solve.”

Celebrating small wins is one of those insights that seems obvious and straightforward but changes everything. That’s because every positive acknowledgment (or not) sets up the next move – and on – and on.

An example of a small win when we ride is when we’re aware of a horse’s anxiety and take the time to ease their fear, or we’re aware that they tried, and we release the pressure.

It can be challenging to see the subtleties of a small win in our own lives. So give yourself a high five and celebrate any success or feel-good moment. An inner voice that cheers you on is the most important coach you’ll ever have.

Today, I’ll take riding by this beautiful mushroom tree and this gorgeous day as a gift and a small win.

All is well. I’m grateful for you – and Nic.

What do you think about small wins? Leave a comment for me, please.

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14 Comments on The Small Things

  1. Robyn Dale Kilmister-Martin on Sun, 11th Feb 2024 2:57 pm
  2. lovely Barb, so true, and such a great reminder. Thank you again, as always 🙂

  3. Brenda Falco on Sun, 11th Feb 2024 3:29 pm
  4. Our drill team practice was today and it is not Remi’s favorite activity. We practiced for an hour and he really tried his best but was getting frustrated with all of the horses so close to him. We ended practice early and walked out on the trail in the woods where he could have a different environment. He was relaxed and happier. Listening to your horse is important. Small win.

  5. Shelley Casciato on Sun, 11th Feb 2024 3:37 pm
  6. Smelling the roses are the little things like riding your horse for the first time since the last show in November! Which I did this past Wednesday on a sunny day , normally I would want him to be totally shedded out but he was so awesome and soft and supple and sound and happy that the big picture of him being slick was not immediately important ! I smiled the whole ride home and never turned my phone on I slept happy and told my husband what a beautiful day I had with my horse🐴🐴

  7. Rhonda T Guilford on Sun, 11th Feb 2024 4:28 pm
  8. I had a couple of small wins with my horse recently. She followed me right into the horse trailer two times in a row and she stood next to me at the mounting block and allowed me to rest my hand on her back without moving away. Instead of getting frustrated with our slow progress, I really savored these successes. Thanks Barb 💕

  9. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 11th Feb 2024 5:49 pm
  10. Hi Barb, So great to see the beautiful weather there where you are! How fun to take a nice ride and enjoy the scenery, and to take us along with you. I’m always impressed that you can take Nic out by himself and he’s not too nervous. You didn’t mention it, but I’m sure hoping that your finger is feeling much better now from when you slammed it in the car door. That had to be extremely painful. Thank you for the reminder of appreciating the small “wins” and trying to become more aware of them too. Thank you!!

  11. Maureen Barman on Sun, 11th Feb 2024 5:55 pm
  12. What a beautiful tree!

  13. Claire Harris on Sun, 11th Feb 2024 8:46 pm
  14. Love your new way to enjoy a small win Thanks.

  15. Candis Molde on Mon, 12th Feb 2024 6:30 am
  16. Small wins for me and my horse make me so happy . Small wins have changed my race bred mare . She looks to me for guidance and we have wonderful rides vs what they used to be . She is a different mare due to our small wins .

  17. Elli Pospischil on Mon, 12th Feb 2024 9:09 am
  18. What a beautiful reminder and so timely at the beginning of a new week!
    Thank you, Barb!
    Here’s to celebrating lots of small wins and being grateful!

  19. Mary Kay Russell on Mon, 12th Feb 2024 10:49 am
  20. Great reminder and a beautiful tree! Nice to see some green, we’re still all white!

  21. Caroline Mackinnon on Mon, 12th Feb 2024 3:50 pm
  22. Beautiful and timely sentiments that we all need to remind ourselves to appreciate. Thank you Barb.

  23. Shawn Smith on Tue, 13th Feb 2024 10:06 am
  24. Thank you Barb. You are always an inspiration🩷

  25. Dawn Brehm on Sun, 18th Feb 2024 6:18 pm
  26. Small win! Actually marked north of 69 today!

    Always great to celebrate!

  27. Dawn Aguilar on Mon, 19th Feb 2024 7:12 am
  28. Thanks Barb for this reminder to celebrate small wins! 🙌🏼

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